Bal a Versailles EdC by Jean Desprez 1962

Hi there Perfume Posse, When the news came through last year or the year before that Bal a Versailles by Jean Desprez had been discontinued I went on a shopping frenzy and now I think there is enough here to last me a few years. After that I’m just going to have to use my memory. So I was really excited recently to discover that  at Surrender To Chance they have both EdC and EdT in store if you’ve not tried it, or if you’d like a little to remember it by. It’s still a very reasonable price but that won’t last as it gets harder and harder to find. I found a page that said he was the fourth in a line of perfumers and that his son continues the legacy but there is not much of a history on the internet of Jean Desprez.

Bal a Versailles EdC by Jean Desprez 1962

Bal a Versailles Eau de Cologne Jean Desprez FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rosemary, orange blossom, mandarin orange, cassia, jasmine, rose, neroli, bergamot, bulgarian rose, lemon
Heart: Sandalwood, patchouli, lilac, orris root, vetiver, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, leather
Base: Tolu balsam, amber, musk, benzoin, civet, vanilla, cedar, resins

Bal a Versailles is a fragrance from my past. My sister and I used up a whole mini perfume on our dolls when we were kids to our Mum’s horror. In our defence it did look like dolls perfume, still does in those little 4ml bottles with the picture on the front. Anyway, so my memories aren’t really of Mum wearing Bal a Versailles but more of our dolls wearing it and the scent stayed glued to them for ages in their outfits.

Versailles SSQQSSQQ

So what does Bal a Versailles EdC smell like to me? Though the notes list looks like everything including the kitchen sink Bal a Versailles smells mainly of itself to me. The EdC is more everything and throws for a meter. You may want to wear it inside unless you are glamming up for a gala event. When I wear it shopping most of my time is spent expecting people to come and bury their noses in me and suck the life from me. Fortuitously this hasn’t happened yet but I’m expecting it any day.

My immediate sense when I spritz it is animal/flowers/powder. Relaxed debauchery, as if in the above pic opium has been smoked and instantly a very prim young lady has become super relaxed and even undone her top. Outrageously untidy behaviour indeed. There is something as eye rollingly compelling about the EdC that is more pronounced than the EdT, PdT or parfum.

Jean DesprezTout en Parfum

Interesting that such a flamboyant fragrance could come from a man who looks very urbane and middle class. Thank you Jean Desprez, your creation makes me very happy

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Yesterday’s Perfume
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

If you have enjoyed this then please pop over to Australian Perfume Junkies and continue the scented conversation. We love visitors, say HI while you’re there.

Do you have memories of Jean Desprez’ Bal a Versailles?
Portia xx

  • hotlanta linda says:

    LOVE FOREVER!!! 🙂 🙂

  • HeidiC says:

    SUCH a naughty perfume! Waltzes between chaste and coy and skanky as hell!

  • Musette says:

    Vintage Bal is one of those ‘winkwink, nudge nudge’ scents. My GranTia Cornelia wore it (my Tio Rey was in thrall to her and used to buy the perfume in bulk, it seems). She was very haute but very prim – wearing this BANGIN’ sexbomb of a perfume! Used to freak my mom right the heck out!

    I’ll bet you are BANGIN’ yourself, babydoll, when you wear that thang! xoxoxoxoA

    • Portia says:

      He he he! Definitely a Wink, Wink frag. Musette, only you could put it so nicely.
      I reckon it smells pretty lived in when I’m wearing it, which is a good thing. Furry, cuddly, well worn, like a favourite pair of jeans.
      Portia xx

  • Kandice says:

    Portia, I love the story of your dolls all glammed up and smelling fabulous! That’s wonderful! I haven’t tried this and probably won’t just because I don’t need another fragrance that’s hard to find. But your story made my day 🙂

  • bevfred says:

    Great review! I’m sure the dolls enjoyed it too. I remember one classic evening, being all dolled up and a little naughty, wearing Bal. It was easily 35 years ago and Ii still vividly remember the scent and all that went on. Ah yes.

  • Eldarwen says:

    I adore vintage Bal especially in the PdT version. I don’t have any childhood memories of it. Every time I think I have enough, I find another reasonably priced bottle on E-Bay and get it. It’s getting more expensive as time goes on. The modern formulation is a disgrace to the vintage. The modern version has no slut note in it.

    • Portia says:

      Hi there Eldarwen,
      Yes, I too buy the occasional BaV when I see it. There’s quite a bit around here.
      Sometimes i think I should get rid of everything that doesn’t have a backup. That would halve my collection to merely ridiculous.
      Portia xx